The Norfolk State Spartans and Florida A&M Rattlers were predicted to win the 2016 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) baseball northern and southern divisions, respectively, the conference announced today. All preseason honors were voted on by the conference’s head baseball coaches and sports information directors.
Savannah State’s Charles Sikes was selected as the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year, while Matt Outman of Norfolk State earned Preseason Pitcher of the Year accolades.
Sikes, the 2015 MEAC Player of the Year, led the conference in doubles (16). Also, he finished second in total bases (94), tied for second in home runs (7) and third in RBIs (37). Nationally, Sikes ranked 55th with five sacrifice flies. This is his second consecutive Preseason Player of the Year honor.
Outman earned Pitcher of the Year honors last season after appearing in 12 games and registering eight wins, including one shutout, in 68.1 innings pitched. He ranked first in the MEAC in wins (8) and strikeouts (78), second in strikeouts per nine innings (10.27), and third in ERA (2.77). Outman ranked 18th nationally in wins, 45th in strikeouts and 48th in strikeouts per nine innings.
Norfolk State was the 2015 MEAC northern division champions. The Spartans finished the season with a 27-16 overall record and 19-5 MEAC mark.
Delaware State was picked to finish second, followed by Maryland Eastern Shore and Coppin State to round out the northern division.
Defending MEAC Baseball Tournament Champion, the Florida A&M Rattlers, posted a 23-25 record and a 15-9 MEAC mark last season to secure the southern divisional title.
Bethune-Cookman was chosen second, followed by Savannah State, North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T State.
Sikes (SSU) and Outman (NSU) are joined by Devin Sweet (NCCU), Clint Clymer (B-CU), Adan Ordonez (NCAT), Mike Escanilla (UMES), Cameron Onderko (DSU), Demetrius Sims (B-CU), Marlon Gibbs (FAMU), Carlos Ortiz (NCCU), Nathan Bond (B-CU), Darien Percell (CSU) and Brian Davis (FAMU) on the 2016 Preseason All-MEAC team.
The 2016 MEAC Baseball Championship tournament is scheduled for May 19-22, 2016 at Purdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md.
Listed below is the 2016 MEAC Preseason Predicted Order of Finish and Preseason All-MEAC teams.
2016 MEAC Baseball Predicted Order of Finish (First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
Southern Division Points
Florida A&M (14) 86
Bethune-Cookman (3) 70
Savannah State 46
North Carolina Central (1) 45
North Carolina A&T 23
Northern Division Points
Norfolk State (14) 68
Delaware State (2) 48
Maryland Eastern Shore 38
Coppin State (2) 26
Preseason Player of the Year: Charles Sikes, Savannah State
Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Matt Outman, Norfolk State
The Rattlers open the 2016 season on Friday, February 19 against Marshall for a three-game series at Moore-Kittles Field.